After one round, Cats comfortable with position

Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Jasper's Jacob Bartley walked the fairway of the 18th hole during the boys golf regional on Thursday in Henryville. Bartley fired a 75 in the opening round of the state finals Tuesday in Franklin, helping position the Wildcats in fifth place — five shots behind leader Columbus North — heading into today's final round.

From Herald Staff Reports

After the Jasper boys golf team bagged third place at last Thursday’s regional, securing a spot in this week’s state finals, Cam Weyer made an impromptu assessment.

With the finals being a two-day test of endurance, Weyer said the Wildcats’ goal was to be in striking distance entering the second day’s final 18 holes. His conceptual positioning: five shots back.

With 18 holes down after Tuesday’s opening round of the boys golf state finals at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, the Wildcats are right where they want to be.

Will Seger logged a 1-under 71, Weyer fired a 74, Dru Hein and Jacob Bartley posted 75s and Reid Lorey added an 82, putting Jasper (295) in fifth place overall and five strokes behind first-round leader and top-ranked Columbus North (290).

“Just like I said last week, I thought we’d be five (shots) back after Day One, so we’re sitting perfect,” Weyer said.

After Columbus North, which leads the field at 2-over par, Westfield (291), Floyd Central (292) and Avon (294) all rest within four strokes.

Six teams remain within 10 strokes of Columbus North and all 15 schools lie within 23 strokes of one another.

Southridge’s Tyler Gray, who qualified as an individual last week at Champions Pointe Golf Club, posted a 76 and is tied for 42nd place overall.

Jasper collared its best team score of the season by seven strokes. Weyer gave props to Bartley, who shaved five strokes off his regional score. Weyer also dropped five strokes from last Thursday while Seger’s tally was reduced by three shots.

“It was a day where everybody did everything,” Wildcat coach Steve Milligan said.

Added Weyer: “I was impressed with the whole team. Everybody finally put a good score together.”

Weyer “nuked a drive on Hole 1,” he said, and fed off a strong start to hit the ball solid all day. Three of his first four holes, Weyer plopped approach shots within 15 feet of the hole but couldn’t convert the birdie putts. Milligan lauded the junior’s recovery shot on 18, where has sank a 12-foot putt for par.

“We maintained a lot of good shots,” Milligan said. “We came in and took care of business how we wanted to.”

After finishing eight strokes behind the Day One leader last year at Franklin, the Wildcats knocked seven strokes off their score on Day Two and finished four strokes behind state champion Evansville Harrison.

“Everybody cuts one of two strokes off what they shot (Tuesday),” Weyer said, “I think we definitely have a chance.”

More on